Negotiating is a process in which two parties come to an agreement that is "mutually beneficial." It should be conversational, not adversarial. When you have received a job offer, your future compensation and perhaps your job responsibilities are impacted by your ability to negotiate well. Although the salary range in many entry level positions is limited, it is in your best interest to not settle for less compensation than the employer was willing to offer. Paying attention to the following key ingredients will set the stage for a "Win-Win" outcome of your negotiations. Your preparation should:
Inventory strengths: Be able to articulate your key strengths and accomplishments.
Know your value added: Ask yourself these questions, Why should they hire me? How do I stand out? Review the employer's problems that you can solve and present yourself as the "problem solver!"
Establish criteria: Research and reflect on your own criteria about salary, benefits, job responsibilities, etc. Do market research through networking sites such as salary.com that provide labor market ranges. Ask yourself, salary you want? Salary you need? Your "walk away" bottom line. Remember: money left on the table is lost forever
Respond appropriately when an offer is made: Once you receive the job offer, follow the guidelines below. Be sure not to negotiate at this time!
1. Thank the employer and show your enthusiasm.
2. Clarify position responsibilities.
3. Clarify salary and benefits.
4. Request additional information, if needed.
5. Ask for offer in writing.
6. Ask for time to evaluate offer.
Prepare for negotiation session:
First, compare their offer to your requirements and determine item(s) you want to negotiate. Second, develop the rationale: What is your "value added?" Not "I need the money." Sample Problem: Limited presence on social media compared to competition. You: Previous experience with building organization's brand by creating Facebook and Twitter pages. Third, plan for the negotiation meeting and very importantly, practice out loud! Thinking something through does not guarantee that you will deliver a well thought out rationale. For more detailed information on negotiations go to Steps for Effective Negotiations on the CEC website.